The Lighthouse, which is the first full-day preschool program for children with special needs in Crown Heights, opens its doors this month • Full Story
The Lighthouse, a boutique Applied Behavior Analysis therapy agency, has been working with the Crown Heights community for nearly two years. As they got to know local families and schools through their at-school and at-home based therapy services, they saw a need for a center-based preschool and knew they had to fill it.
With their firsthand knowledge of the community’s needs, the trust they built with local parents and schools, and the various services for clients of all ages, they were uniquely situated to take action, introducing The Lighthouse Early Learning Center (ELC), a full-day special-education preschool program in the heart of Crown Heights.
The program, which is geared to children ages 18 months through 5 years, provides personalized ABA therapy and related services in a playgroup setting throughout the duration of the school day.
At ELC, children will work one-on-one with ABA therapists to target social, behavioral, language, communication and ADL skills. They can also receive any related services such as occupational, speech, or physical therapy at the center during school hours.
“For kids who need intensive early intervention, even the best one-on-one therapy in a mainstream program does not compare to a specialized program built specifically with therapy goals in mind,” explains Lighthouse Director Pessy Raitman, M.S. Ed., BCBA, LBA.
“These formative years are crucial to a child’s development,” Raitman says. “Receiving the best possible therapy in the right setting at this age is invaluable.”
“The Lighthouse’s preschool program is filling an incredible need in this community,” shares C. F. of Crown Heights, whose son is enrolled at The Lighthouse ELC. “There are other places in Crown Heights that offer therapy within mainstream classrooms, but there is no special-ed preschool.
“Right now, my son has therapists pulling him out of class, or sitting alongside him in the classroom. At Lighthouse, he’ll be in a specialized program that’s designed, staffed, and run by trained behavior analysts, where he’ll spend the entire morning working on his goals in a space and environment that’s designed for kids with needs like his.”
The Lighthouse, which was established in 2020, provides behavioral services to children at schools, at home, and in the Lighthouse center. The modern, bright and interactive space, which is located on Troy Avenue, is home to social groups, extracurricular programming, and a variety of activities.
The Lighthouse is run by experienced BCBAs and accepts most health insurance.